Karen Urata Realtor

Archive for January, 2013|Monthly archive page

What Happens in Escrow?

In El Cajon, Escondido, La Mesa, Mission Valley, North San Diego County, Oceanside, Poway, Ramona, Real Estate, San Diego County, San Marcos, Santee, Vista on January 15, 2013 at 9:00 pm
Transaction Tuesday

Image courtesy of smarnad/FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Grab your coffee.  It is that time again, Transaction Tuesday where we answer all those questions you forget to ask about the real estate transaction process.  We answered the question not long ago about what escrow is so now we will touch on what happens during the escrow process.   My husband, Greg Urata, wrote a book called, First-time Home Buying in a Nutshell, and I am borrowing this description of the escrow process from it to share with you to help you know what to expect when you enter the escrow process.

The Escrow Process 

        1)  Getting the Purchase Agreement

After all parties to the contract have signed, the agent will open escrow and submit the contract to escrow.  Some states use lawyers in lieu of escrow to process the transaction.  This author is not familiar with how the transaction is handled in those states.

         2)      Escrow Instructions

Escrow will create escrow instructions outlining the specifics of the transaction.

3)  Preliminary Title

Escrow will order a preliminary title report.  A preliminary title report is a document that outlines information that is pertinent to the property such as easements, liens, encumbrances, etc that might compromise free and clear title to the property.  It is important for buyers to review this document to make sure they are not going to unknowingly encumber themselves through buying the property

 4)  Estimated HUD 1

This is a document that lists the preliminary financial accounting of the costs and financing amounts of the transaction.  There is a final HUD 1/Settlement Statement issued at the end of the escrow process to show the final costs and financing amounts of the transaction.

5)  Payoff Demand

This is a request made by escrow to the current mortgage holder of the existing loan(s) on the property for the total amount due to pay off the loan.

6)  Drawing Docs

The process in which the buyer’s lender prepares the documents (loan contract) to be sent to escrow to be signed by the buyer.  Escrow usually reviews the documents to ensure they are accurate.

7)  Signing Docs

When the loan documents are signed by the buyer in escrow (or by the lender) witnessed by a notary.

8)      Funding

The signed documents are returned to the lender and the lender then funds the loan by sending funds to the title company which, in turn, sends the proceeds to escrow for disbursement.

9)  Record and Closing

After funding, the title company records the title at the County Recorder’s Office.

While this does not cover everything that goes on during the process it does outline the basic items that your escrow officer is working hard to complete on your behalf during the escrow period.  Your agent is also handling many details that must be addressed prior to the close of escrow that are not touched on here.

I hope this helps make you feel more comfortable while you go through the transaction process.  If you have any questions please just give me a call.

See you in the neighborhood,

Karen Urata

DRE License # 01720025

B W Real Estate Group

(760) 609-0952

5-Star Award Winner  San Diego Magazine 2010, 2011, 2012

Serving Buyers and Sellers in San Diego County

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Is It a Buyer’s Market or a Seller’s Market?

In CA, El Cajon, Escondido, Mission Valley, North San Diego County, Oceanside, Poway, Ramona, Real Estate, San Diego County, San Marcos, Santee, Uncategorized, Vista on January 11, 2013 at 5:08 am
Interest Rates

Interest Rates (Photo credit: 401(K) 2013)

Is it a buyer’s market or a seller’s market? is probably the question that I hear most often and of course, the answer to that question changes over time.

Sometimes, when there are lots of homes on the market, and not too many ready willing and able buyers, we see a buyer’s market.  This means that, generally speaking, buyers are in a position to ask for concessions, such as a laundry list of repairs, extensive credits, and often make offers under the list price.  Buyers often try to time their purchase for a buyer’s market because they feel that they can get more house for their money that way.  Other times, when there are lots of buyers and not too many homes on the market, we see a seller’s market.  This means that, generally speaking, sellers are in a position to ask for concessions, such as no contingencies, no repairs and purchase prices exceeding the list price.  Sellers often try to time to time their sale for a seller’s market because they feel that they can get the best return on their home  that way.

But sometimes, like now, we see a market that is both a buyer’s market and a seller’s market at the same time.  That can happen when there is low inventory, or few homes available on the market creating a larger return for sellers and low-interest rates, that result in buyers actually getting more home for their money.

What the heck, how does that work?  Well, the largest factor in the actual cost of a home is the interest rate, not the purchase price.  Did you know that a change (reduction) of half a percent on a home with the loan amount of $300,000  from3.5% interest to 3% interest represents a reduction of  $82.32 an month  in your monthly payment. Your principle payment would drop from $1347.13 to $1264.81.   In this example, the half a percent interest rate change represents approximately $20,000 more in purchasing power.  In other words, you would have approximately the same principle payment on a loan amount of $300,000 at 3.5% interest as you would on a loan amount of $320,000 at $3.0% interest, not to mention that now you can qualify for  a home that has $20,000 worth of additional features that you would not have qualified for at the higher interest rate.  This could actually change the neighborhood that you live in or the size of the house your family grows up in.

Having the right knowledge can really make a difference in maximizing the benefit for everyone in a transaction.  If you are thinking of buying or selling now is a great time.

Just call me and we can talk about how you can maximize your benefit when buying or selling in this buyer’s and seller’s market in San Diego County.

See you in the neighborhood,

Karen Urata

DRE License # 01720025

B W Real Estate Group

(760) 609-0952

5-Star Award Winner  San Diego Magazine 2010, 2011, 2012

Serving Buyers and Sellers in San Diego County

What is Title Insurance Anyway?

In CA, El Cajon, Escondido, La Mesa, Mission Valley, Norh San Diego County, Oceanside, Poway, Ramona, Real Estate, San Diego County, San Marcos, Santee, Uncategorized, Vista on January 8, 2013 at 3:59 pm
Transaction Tuesday

Image courtesy of smarnad/FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Well it’s Tuesday again and that means it is time for another installment in our series, Transaction Tuesday.  Grab your coffee and an a snack and come with me.

If you have purchased a home chances are you have purchased title insurance but you may not know exactly what title insurance is or why you need it.

Unlike most forms of insurance, title insurance premiums are paid just once at the time of purchase but cover your interest as long as you, or your heirs, own the property.

Generally speaking, title insurance is meant to protect an owner’s or a lender’s financial interest in real property against loss due to title defects, liens or other matters.  There are two types of policies, one that protects the lender’s interest in a property and one that protects a homeowner’s interest in a property. If you have a mortgage on a property, the lender will require a policy to protect their interest for the amount of the loan.  You can also purchase a policy, at a small additional cost, during escrow to protect your interest as a homeowner.

Escrow will order the preliminary title report which should be reviewed and approved by the buyer.  This report should specify what is covered by the title policy and what is excluded.

For more details check out these links:

http://www.stewart.com/title-insurance/what-is-tile-insurance

http://www.firstam.com/title/resources/reference-information/title-insurance-reference-articles/q-a-about-title-insurance.html

If you have questions about title insurance or anything else in the transaction process, please feel free to contact me.

See you in the neighborhood,

Karen Urata

DRE License # 01720025

B W Real Estate Group

(760) 609-0952

5-Star Award Winner  San Diego Magazine 2010, 2011, 2012

Serving Buyers and Sellers in San Diego County

Welcome to Transaction Tuesday

In El Cajon, Escondido, La Mesa, Mission Valley, North San Diego County, Oceanside, Poway, Ramona, Real Estate, San Diego County, San Marcos, Santee, Vista on January 2, 2013 at 5:44 am
Image courtesy of smarnad/FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of smarnad/FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Welcome, grab a cup of coffee, sit down, relax and I will happily answer those “silly” questions you might have about special terms and other things that come up during a real estate transaction that you may have heard of but don’t really know for sure what they mean and never get around to asking about.

Let’s say you have been working with your agent to negotiate the purchase or the sale of your home.  The offer has been made and counter offers have been negotiated and an agreement has been reached.  Your agent calls you and says, “Congratulations, you are in escrow!”  She sounds happy and excited for you so you know that must be a good thing, but what exactly does being in escrow mean?

In a real estate transaction, escrow is a third-party that is selected in the negotiation process and is named in the contract.  This is the party who holds the deed to the property and the funds from the buyer and lender, (if you require a loan), and releases them to the proper parties when the property sale is recorded and the transaction is complete.

In the state of California real estate transactions go through the escrow process, however, some states use attorneys for this part of the real estate transaction.

The escrow process generally takes a while to complete as many details must be handled during this process.  One important element of escrow is ordering the preliminary title report.  This report shows ownership of the property and whether the seller has the authority to transfer the property.  It also helps to show encumbrances such as liens and easements that may be filed against the property that.  We can touch on some of those in a later post focusing on title insurance.

In most cases, sellers and buyers have the assistance of a real estate agent to help guide them through the many details that should to be completed during the escrow process.

Check back next Tuesday and we will talk a little more about the items that you might hear about during the escrow process. Until then, make it a great week.

If you have a real estate question you would like to submit for consideration as the subject of a future Transaction Tuesday blog post please email your question to uratakaren@yahoo.com.

See you in the neighborhood,

Karen Urata

DRE License # 01720025

B W Real Estate Group

(760) 609-0952

5-Star Award Winner  San Diego Magazine 2010, 2011, 2012

Serving Buyers and Sellers in San Diego County